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John Sexton / Gavel Media

Belichick's Out in New England: His Legacy and What's Next?

The New England Patriots and long-time coach Bill Belichick agreed to part ways. This decision comes after the Patriots’ worst season since 1992, finishing with a disappointing 4-13 record. Although New England quickly promoted coach Jerod Mayo, a defensive assistant, as the next head coach, what’s next for the legendary coach? Will Belichick retire or make one last run with another team?

The team officially announced coach Belichick’s departure at a press conference on Jan. 11. The six-time Super Bowl champ expressed his appreciation for the club, reminiscing on the team’s many ups and downs over his 24-year tenure. “I’ll always be a Patriot,” Belichick exclaimed. He thanked the players, assistant coaching staff, and team ownership for their unwavering support. However, he recognized he had to “move on” and “look forward to the future.”

Patriots owner Robert Kraft praised his long-time partner “as the greatest coach of all time, which makes this decision to part ways so hard.” Despite the sentimental words, Kraft also recognized that this decision was “needed,” and both parties had no choice but to move on. Kraft and the Patriots lived up to their word. They immediately promoted inside linebacker coach and former Patriot player Jerod Mayo to the head coaching position, kickstarting a new era in New England.

The 71-year-old coach is withholding any retirement plans. He placed his resume in the prospective coaching pool after announcing his departure. 

Despite his impressive record, Belichick has struggled with his recent job search. The veteran coach entered the market with multiple interviews lined up. He met with the Atlanta Falcons twice, expressing significant intrigue in the rebuilding program. The two parties showed palpable interest but failed to strike a deal. Last week, the Falcons hired Raheem Morris as their next head coach, throwing Belichick back into a highly competitive market. Only two vacancies remain, as the Washington Commanders and Seattle Seahawks still need a head coach. It seems Belichick put all his eggs in one basket with the Falcons, and the remaining teams are not too interested.

Was the 2023 season the last time we saw Belichick on an NFL sideline? Despite his recent troubles finding an interested suitor, coach Belichick hopes to continue his distinguished career and uphold his reputation as a consistent, old-school winner.

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